Measuring Student Strengths: Using Noncognitive Data to Address Retention and Success Initiatives
New Data in Action research explores trends for six noncognitive factors assessed with the Campus Labs Student Strengths Inventory (SSI), reviewing data from more than 180,000 student respondents collected between 2013-2019 at 74 institutions across the United States.
This research began as a response to the enrollment challenges facing higher education and a desire to understand recent trends in the dispositions and attitudes of enrolled college students—in analyzing this large collection of responses, several trends initially stand out:
- Overall, academic engagement has increased over time
- Private four-year institutions have seen a decline in levels of campus engagement
- Public four-year institutions have seen a decline in levels of resiliency
- Small campuses overall face a surprising challenge: campus engagement
- Large campuses (FTEs of more than 8,000) saw a rise in respondents with low resiliency
Download the whitepaper for detailed analysis of six research questions—including campus case studies and a series of graphs and data figures.
Thank you for your interest.
Your download is ready.Download the whitepaper
More Data In Action Whitepapers
Active learning activities and pedagogical strategies can look different in online learning environments, particularly in asynchronous courses when students are not interacting with the instructor, or with each other, in real time. This paper suggests a three-pronged approach for conceptualizing active learning in the online asynchronous class—the creation of an architecture of engagement in the online classroom, the use of web-based tools in addition to the learning management system and a re-imagining of discussion boards as interactive spaces.
An integrated course design requires a significant investment in time, energy and thought. But this expenditure has great potential for exerting a potent effect on student acquisition of “significant” (rather than trivial) learning. Therefore, faculty members committed to improving their ability to facilitate significant learning are encouraged to adopt the processes described in this paper. There may be no “faculty development” activity with more potential and power for improving significant learning.
Active learning approaches often involve students working in groups. The advantage of this pedagogical choice is that students can apply concepts, solve problems and, in general, engage cognitively with course content with the support of peers. Moreover, if designed thoughtfully, group work can help students develop metacognition—the ability to think about and monitor one’s own thinking and learning. Group work involves complex cognitive and affective elements, however, that embody all the challenges of human social interaction and affect the functioning of the group. This piece shares 10 research-based practices for using group work productively.
This piece offers practical advice for those faced with the challenge of creating their first online course. Characteristics of the online medium are explored. Then, drawing upon Chickering and Gamson’s principles of good practice, five principles for online course planning and design are discussed—collaborative learning, connecting course concepts, instructor social presence and interaction, balancing the amount of course information with student commitment and persistence, and matching course outcomes with technological options.
Effective instructor evaluation is complex and requires the use of multiple measures—formal and informal, traditional and authentic—as part of a balanced evaluation system. The student voice, a critical element of that balanced system, is appropriately complemented by instructor self-assessment and the reasoned judgments of other relevant parties, such as peers and supervisors. Integrating all three elements allows instructors to take a mastery approach to formative evaluation, trying out new teaching strategies and remaining open to feedback that focuses on how they might improve.